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Nordstrom is Testing Curbside Pickup for Online Orders

Nordstrom was one of the first major U.S. retailers to offer shoppers the option to place an order online and pick it up in a local store a few hours later at no extra fee. The luxury department store chain is now making the omnichannel experience so seamless that customers won’t even need to leave their cars to collect their purchases.

Last month, the retailer began piloting curbside pickup at select locations, including its Seattle flagship store, as part of the aggressive technology investments outlined in a fourth-quarter earnings call in February that will help it reach its goal of $20 billion in revenue by 2020.

“Technology is 35 percent of the [five-year $4.3 billion capital-spending] plan, reflecting an increased shift towards foundational investments,” said chief financial officer Mike Koppel, according to a transcript of the call. “This not only supports a $2.5 billion online business today that is anticipated to grow by over $1 billion over the next several years, but also enables an integrated customer experience across stores and online.”

Curbside pickup is part of that improved customer experience. How it works: Shoppers buy their goods online and then, when they’re ready to pick up those items at a participating store, call or text when they’re on the way and a store associate will be waiting curbside with the purchase upon their arrival.

“We’re trying to making shopping more convenient,” said Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores at Nordstrom, in an interview with Puget Sound Business Journal. “In the past we’ve made people come all the way up to the back of the third floor.” Nordstrom spokesman Dan Evans added that curbside pickup might eventually be integrated into the retailer’s app.